An independent candidate from the Indian state of Punjab managed to make himself known around the world after a video of him crying went viral. In the clip, he is seen telling a reporter that he only received five votes in the recent Indian general elections, despite having nine family members.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a resounding victory in India’s general elections, which ended last week after some 600 million people across the country cast their votes.
But another important thing happened: Neetu Shutteran Wala, a relatively unknown politician who ran as independent in the city of Jalandhar, had a meteoric rise to meme status.
In an interview with a local reporter, Shutteran Wala broke down in tears as he revealed that despite having nine family members, he had only gotten five votes. The emotional politician said he did not blame his relatives, but election fraud.
The clip was featured by most major news websites in India and eventually went viral internationally.
As it turns out, his family had voted for him (probably) as the final tally of the votes revealed that Neetu Shutteran Wala got 856 votes.
India Today reports that the overzealous reporter interviewed Shutteran Wala while the votes were still being counted, so there is a possibility that at the time he only had five votes.
Still, the man’s family felt obligated to issue a public statement confirming their support: “He has complete support from the family and everyone voted for him,” Shutteran Wala’s brother told a reporter.